Is Consumerism Ruining Parenthood?

I saw something on instagram the other day that made me really angry. Yet another device for new parents, designed to relieve their worries and give them peace of mind (or piece, if you’re the idiots marketing it) These things aren’t for peace of mind – they are to make money out of people’s fears – fears that wouldn’t even BE there were it not for the relentless pounding of them into parent’s heads.

Take this latest piece of tat. An electronic listening device that you attach to your newborn baby. To their throat. So you can listen to whether or not they are drinking any breastmilk. Because, you know – you can’t FEEL that happening. Or SEE their little throats working. Or notice the fact that they are PEEING AND POOPING ALL THE FRIGGING TIME.

Honestly! What a mercenary piece of crap that is! Preying on parents fears. All designed to make you doubt yourself. All designed to stop you using one of the most important – and completely free – things you possess.

Your common sense.

Being a helpful type, here are some of my top annoying useless piece’s of crap you will be pressured to buy, which you will probably never use BECAUSE YOU DON’T NEED THEM.

Room Thermometers:

Apparently there is an optimum room temperature for babies to sleep in. No shit Sherlock, we all like an ambient temperature to sleep in. Thing is – there’s not a lot we can do in this country when it’s hot, we don’t usually have air conditioning. So rather than get sent into a brainless panic because the stupid egg has gone red, try opening the windows, taking the covers off and stripping baby right down. The stupid egg will still be red because it’s – you know, hot – but baby will be fine. Feel their neck – if they feel really hot, do things to cool them down. You don’t need a room thermometer to tell you it’s as hot as Hades in there.

Bath Thermometers:

What’s wrong with sticking your goddamn elbow in the bath any more?! Unless you have some sort of nervous issue going on where you can’t differentiate between hot and cold, you aren’t going to broil your baby. Check it with your elbow, splash it all over yourself if you want. Get in there with the baby, presuming you don’t mind the risk of poonami’s. Even a turnip can tell the difference between hot and warm, you really don’t need to waste money on things THAT MIGHT BREAK.

Food Nets

Why why why why are you going to give your kid a bit of food in a manky net to chew on? Just watch the little buggers like a hawk when they are eating, and follow the principles of baby led weaning – soft, well cooked, grippable. Cut grapes in half. Babies need texture as well as flavour – why stuff a perfectly good piece of cucumber in a bag that you’re planning on washing in Fairy Liquid and using again?! YUCK. Just keep an eye on them, and if you are really scared (actually, do this anyway if you can) go on a baby first aid course. Or just give them puree if you are that worried!

Bogey Suckers:

I literally do not know anyone who has used one of these contraptions. I was given one that had been handed on by no less than 5 people, still unused. Not because their babies had never got colds, but because EWW and WHY?! Your poor baby has a cold and is so snuffly and sorry for themselves you want to cry yourself, and then you are going to ram a TUBE up their poor sore little noses and try and slurp out a load of snot?! No. Just no. Don’t waste your money, a steamy bathroom and a dab of vicks will do a much better job. Poor babies.

Wee Catchers

Someone bought us a set of these when we had Rian, and I just had no clue. I knew that baby boys like to wee wide and free as soon as the nappy comes off, because that’s what baby boys always do in Hollywood innit. We tried the wee catcher, which if you don’t know is a little felt cone you pop on willy while you’re changing baby to catch wee, only did it work? No of course not. If the damn thing wasn’t just rolling off then it was being propelled past my ear at a rate of knots by a stream of piss. It ended up eloping with the socks in our washing machine and I never missed it. Just have a clean nappy and a muslin at the ready when changing baby, and I guarantee you won’t get wee up your nose.

Top and Tail Bowls:

Really people. Really? You honestly think parents aren’t capable of differentiating the arse end of baby from the top end? I mean I know they are both noisy and require similar amounts of attendance – often simultaneously – but seriously! Who is going to wash their baby’s bum, then their face, with the same water and cloth?! ARGHHH.

Breastfeeding Aprons:

You look like a twit. It could not be MORE obvious that you are breastfeeding. BOOBS ARE NORMAL. WOMEN HAVE BOOBS. SOME WOMEN USE THEIR BOOBS TO SHUT UP THEIR WAILING INFANTS.

Also babies tend to have these things called HEADS which usually block out most of the boob – sorry pervs. Why suffocate your baby with a massive, horribly patterned smock thing that is going to boil both of you, when you can wear a vest under a tshirt and pull one up and one down? Little bit of boob pops out and bob’s your uncle, happy baby. Yes, there is always a risk of a small nip flash, especially if the little buggers are doing that Waaa-luhluhmuhmeh-neurghhh-Aaah thing and shaking their heads about but it’s RUDE to stare people!


What’s the best thing you were terrified into buying, then realised you didn’t need it because you actually have a brain in your head with some common sense in it?




Life Love and Dirty Dishes

40 thoughts on “Is Consumerism Ruining Parenthood?

  1. Yup, I’m with you on that stuff. I never did get the point of a top and tail bowl, and the Popple wouldn’t get me within a mile of her with a bogey sucker. I get why some women want to use breastfeeding aprons, but I never used one myself – like you said, the worst thing that people set is a bit of nipple, and there are worse things. #chucklemums

  2. When I read the title, I immediately thought of the food net thingy’s…Just what? Why? I was given one and I just to this day, do not understand them! What a waste of money. #chucklemums.

  3. I’m kind of relieved to be an old lady who’s babies are now teens when I see some of the crazy crap you can buy now!! I never got a top and tail bowl either, I just assumed I was missing something and all the ‘proper’ mummies were top and tailing their hearts out! #chucklemums

  4. Oh goodness, yes ….that obsession with the room thermometer (“Ohh look! it’s 17.9C! … It’s also 4.40am, the baby is happily sleeping STOP STARING AT THE COLOURFUL EGG AND GO BACK TO SLEEP”)

  5. Lol I have succumbed to a number of these things. Some I regret, but others have found quite useful. I confess, I have been a user of a nose sucker. My little man hated it but it did help to get some of the snot from his nose. There’s no risk of it getting into my mouth with the model I was using, otherwise, that would send me vomiting. I think it’s safe to say that most baby monitors come with thermometers now anyway, so the Egg things are redundant. Just think of the millions being spent on all the useless tat!?! #chucklemums

  6. LOL at even a turnip can tell the difference between hot and cold! A very funny post. You’re right, there’s some fairish old tat out there to scare people into thinking they’re underprepared without ’em. Loving your snazzy new look blog frontage 🙂 #chucklemums

  7. oh me that applies also to spending loads of money on furniture and decorations for your baby’s nursery and then they get super excited when being able to just play with wrapping paper! or cardboard boxes! see..I’m more into spending quality time with them and be more sensible with my purchases 🙂

  8. Oh. My. God. I can still remember the bone chilling fear that set in after the NCT class where they told us about optimum room temperature for babies. I couldn’t believe the human race had survived this long the way they went on about it. I did know a few people who swore by those snot things though!

  9. veOops… Yes, I am currently using my very trusty SNOT SUCKER 🙂 …. I do however agree with all the nonsense products that we are “duped” into buying. What about the ‘Light Bug”, that shines lights in all different patterns and colours on the wall.. Never helped my babies sleeps, just wired them up! #chucklemums

  10. Laughed out loud at the wee catcher and top and tail bowls… honestly, what are people thinking? I also agree about the food nets, they are really popular in the US but surely its just a bit manky as you say? Gotta say though… living in the desert (with air-con) means thermometers are could piece of mind 🙂 #chucklemums

  11. Yes to all these things! ESPECIALLY room thermometers….I swear they just increased parental anxiety ten fold in the height of summer! Errr, please sun, can you turn it down a few degrees? The egg is NEON RED. Thanks.
    Great to swing by #chucklemums!

  12. Ha ha, you are so right. I’ve never heard of that stupid neck thing, why on earth would anyone want to put something on their baby’s neck? Surely the presence of the thing would stop baby feeding anyway? I’ve also never understood the whole top and tail bowl thing, just odd.

  13. Brilliant. I wish I read this a long time ago before I got consumed with anxiety about what I might need. I’ve now ditched the baby books and am just following my instinct – baby will do what baby needs to do when she’s ready. Also, who the actual eff is buying a monitor you attach to a baby’s throat. Being a mummy is terrifying enough without predatory companies playing on our fears #chucklemums

  14. I thought of another – a device that clips to the front of your baby’s nappy and beeps when it’s full and requires changing. In my experience, a pat of the bum and a discreet sniff will soon tell you that! #chucklemums

  15. I tried to comment earlier but I think it’s gone missing! We had the Gro egg and used it religiously in the first few months, but then when it went red, we nearly died because there was nothing we could do about it! We also had the bath thermometer and must have lost hours in those first few weeks, trying to heat the bath to the absolute perfect degree. Fools. #chucklemums

  16. Oh god, this is ridiculous! The funny thing is that when my youngest was born, video baby monitors were just appearing on the scene and I snorted at the idea of one, saying how over the top it would be to have to watch your baby on a screen. I’m pretty sure now they are de rigeur? Alison x #chucklemums

  17. I had a bogey sucker and used it all the time. I kind of got addicted to sucking the grimy little things out of the Child’s nose. Our problem with the room thermometer was it always said the room was too cold. It’s grim up north you know. #chucklemums

  18. Absolutely LOVED this post. So good to see someone who isn’t afraid to speak out about these useless bits of tat. Have to admit I was pressured into getting a bath thermometer – by my own mother who used tonfnd the old elbow worked perfectly fine for me as a child. Also know people who have used food nets and snot suckers and you don’t want to sound like a bad parent by dismissing these gadgets – but just NO NEED. And breastfeeding aprons are like a neon light. Such a good post. #chucklemums

  19. I had to cringe while I was reading as I am so guilty of buying half of these things when I was expecting my first. I mean they were on the “Things you really need to buy” list in a well known baby retail outlet so of course I had to have them before I reached third trimester, otherwise my baby would have been instantly handed over to social services due to my lack of a bogey sucker. Obviously didn’t use any of them. I was definitely had! Brilliant and very useful post which should be distributed in Bounty packs! Thanks for hosting #chucklemums x

  20. I admit to using the wee catchers. Or pee pee tee pees! Only after I got wee in my eye. Although you are right. They never stayed on! This list is spot on. So much crap we don’t need. Common sense can solve most problems! And the snot sucker? Ewwwww! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

  21. Ahahahaha, the wee catcher, ahahahahaha. I shouldn’t be laughing because that is probably one of the only things I didn’t own and that is only because I have girls. First time round I had so many of these useless gadgets and they didn’t help at all. They just made me paranoid! Second time round I didn’t give a toss, I just went with the flow and used my “common sense” like you say. We were all happier!

  22. Wee catchers??? I didn’t even know they existed! What a pile of nonsense. I have to say I had a breastfeeding apron and that I used it approximately never because a) when they were very little I couldn’t see what I was doing b) once they were 3 months they just wanted to peek out #fridayfrolics

  23. This is so funny – and so true! I had totally forgotten about the snot sucker: I BOUGHT ONE!! whats worse, is that I actually attempted to use it. Oh god, the shame.
    Oh course it didn’t work. well, I tell a lie, it did suck up a bit but my god it was rank and I chucked it because you couldn’t actually clean the teeny tiny IMPRACTICABLE snotty tube.
    So gross.
    As for the wee catcher, well I’ve heard it all now!
    Big love, L

  24. Haha! Thoroughly enjoyed this post. You speak the truth. When I was pregnant with baby #1 I googled for a list of baby essentials and dutifully ticked off the room thermometer and bogey sucker… they need to add a link to this post at the bottom of that 2 page bad boy. I doubt our cave based ancestors Mr and Mrs Ug worried about nasal aspiration! #Chucklemums xx

  25. After I found a pool of wee in my sons ear….babies can wee a long way – I always had a flannel handy and if I saw the signs of more wee – the flannel was deployed. It worked for us.

  26. Haha! Yes, a lot of it is unnecessary, isn’t it? I gave up on bath thermometers about a week in – who even has time to wait for them to have picked up the right temperature??

    Thanks so much for joining us on #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time.

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